Fantasy Football Week 1 is behind us.
How did you do? Did you win your match-up? Are at the top of your league? Or did your opponent have Tom Brady and bury you in the dust? (Or maybe..you buried them).
I continue to get a lot of great questions from readers, both general and specific, and I once again thank everyone who sent something in.
Good luck in Week 2!
I had a good week, but there was a guy on my bench who did well. What’s the best way to know from week to week what guys should be active and who should be on the bench – how much does a good performance one week mean for the next?
Is it like baseball where you really can tell a lot by numbers?
I covered this a little last week but let’s get into more details now that we are into Week 1.
Here is what you should look at:
- Match-up- What team are they playing? If they are facing a top defense (Steelers, Jets, Packers, Chargers, Ravens, Bears, etc) or another top defense you will want to be careful when you decide to start them. Some teams have a better run defense or pass defense, so you’ll want to look into that specifically. There is usually a stat called OPRK (opponent ranking) that will provide the ranking of the opponent against the run or pass, however it applies to your player’s position. Use this to help you decide. For example, if you see an opponent that is ranked somewhere in the 20-32 range, you definitely want to start your guy. You can also check out defensive rankings at NFL.com.
- Rankings- I always check out the weekly rankings from various sites. Check out this week’s from CBSSports.
- Role in their offense- You will always want to start a #1 over a #3 receiver because they will get more targets. Some offenses are an exception (GB; they like to spread it around). So this is where you can relate it to the baseball mentality and look at the stats for the previous week’s targets. If they were targeted 3 times that is “low,” whereas 8-10 is more ideal. This is especially true with TEs, because sopme of them act like receivers in their offense (NE comes to mind).
- Stats- (Continued from above) You can do this with running backs as well by looking at touches and carries and yards per carry. For QBs, you want high pass attempts. Some offenses run and pass equally. Some pass more. Passing QBS are better for fantasy football, as I am sure you can imagine (Rodgers, Rivers, Brady…).
- Injury- If someone is injured, you have to be careful because they could be limited in the game or lose time to their back-up.
- How they looked the week before- Chris Johnson did not perform well last week. I personally need to see more from him and I would consider sitting him until he improves. I know its Chris Johnson, but this is an example of a situation where he did not perform that well last week and he is facing Baltimore. Less than ideal.
- Offensive Line- This could also be a reason why Chris Johnson stunk last week. A good O-line helps a player perform. If the teams offensive line looks sketchy, then keep that in the back of your mind when making decisions.
- Just general instinct- This guy might be “due” or may have “looked bad”.
I know this might sound like a lot to those of you that are new to Fantasy Football but as time goes on you will learn more about what to look for.
One last thing: It is important not to overreact to one-week wonders. It is also important not to overreact if one of your studs plays poorly. These things will also work themselves out and after 2-3 weeks you will start to see trends that can help inform your decisions.
Should I be looking at/caring about who my fantasy opponent is this week and who’s on his/her team?
First of all, thank you for saying his/her. So many people refer to him when they speak about Fantasy Football, as if hims are the only people that play. Girls/women (see what I did there?) play Fantasy, too.
To answer your question, no.
You obviously want to score more points than your opponent but you do that by making your team the best it can be in any given week. I do look at who my opponent is starting so I know who not to cheer for but I don’t really believe in starting someone just because they are facing my opponent. Points are points.
There have been weeks that I’ve looked at projections and started a high upside guy over a reliable average type-guy in an effort to win. A sort of go-big-or-go-home strategy. But in all sincerity, I would just try to make your team the best you can EVERY week.
Nate Kaeding tore his ACL. I dropped him and I picked up Folk. Should I have traded for Janikowski?
I know some people won their games last week because of his absurd 63-yard FG bu you can’t count on that every week. Seabass is great but I wouldn’t recommend trading quality skill position players for any kicker. You are better off add/dropping based on match-ups week to week .
There are plenty of other great kickers out there.
Who should I start : Saints Robert Meachem or Bills Stevie Johnson?
My instinct says Stevie Johnson.
Word out of Buffalo on Thursday is that Johnson was held out of practice for a groin injury (this is not a new injury). Sounds like he was just given a day off so I would worry too much. The Raiders gave up a ton of yards to the Broncos last week and Fitzpatrick will be looking for Johnson for the big play.
My decision to play Johnson over Meachem is also about the New Orleans offense.
There is a possibility that Lance Moore returns this week and while he is not the player Meachem is, it will translate to fewer targets for both players (also factor in Henderson). On top of that, the Chicago defense is good and they took away a lot from Matt Ryan last week. I think Brees, as good as he us, will have to look to Sproles and Graham for the majority of the game.
Kristine Reese is the lead New York Jets write for Aerys Sports and a regular contributor to Aerys Offsides and The Pulse. You can follow her on Twitter @KristineReese.